Archive for August, 2012

Fountain Square Grand Prix

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The month of August has spoiled those of us who enjoy awesome things.  Case in point: The inaugural Fountain Square Grand Prix bicycle criterium race held on August 18th, 2012.

Fountain Square Grand Prix (image: Curt Ailes)

Fountain Square Grand Prix (image: Curt Ailes)

I loved the race being held on that day. There was a strong symbolism to the FSGP being held on the same weekend as the MotoGP at the Speedway. Indy is a town that loves to host a good competition.  But it also loves to host a good party, and that’s why the Cataracts 2012 music festival being held at the same time and only 1 block away from the bicycle race made this a perfect Indianapolis blending of Sports & Entertainment.

A competitive race at high speeds on city roads – these races do test people (image: Curt Ailes)

A criterium race is a timed race held on a closed city street.  You can imagine that the street patterns in Fountain Square can provide some interesting course geometries, and indeed the course was set up in an almost-figure eight configuration, which means that you see each rider at least twice on each lap at the main intersection.

Queuing up for the start of the race

The view from Red Lion, a local pub next to the finish line

It was also fun to see people being able to use the streets and sidewalks for a public celebration.  Currently, the square of Fountain Square is being rehabbed and integrated into the cultural trail and cycle-track, which makes for a bit of construction mess, but you can tell that it is shaping up really well.  This new public space is going to be a great rallying point for future events like FSGP.

Construction is progressing well in preparation of the newest fountain

Thanks to everyone who planned, raced, sponsored, or worked at the FSGP or Cataracts.  It was an enormous but greatly appreciated effort.

Well done and congratulations to all the winners of this year’s race

Cataracts 2012

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The weekend of August 17-19 was a great one for this Capital City, as documented in the IndyStar.  There were a lot of options available and I hope everyone here took advantage of some.  The Cataracts 2012 music festival was my event of choice, and I’m quite happy I attended.  The music was great, the people were friendly, and the weather was unbelievable.  NUVO wrote an article on the event, or you can get a feel for the experience by watching this:

It was just a lot of fun, as you can see in that video.  I don’t have the equipment to capture such music, but hopefully you get a sense of the dynamic energy that these bands can bring.  Here are some more shots from the music fest Friday and Saturday.

The tent behind the Murphy building is set for the show on Friday There was music all day long in the tent KO on Friday afternoon Pravada took the tent stage on Friday evening Margot and the Nuclear SoSos headlined on Friday night A map of the bands and houses for Saturday 40 live acts but everything ran smoothly the marker for Debbies Palace of Noise and Laundromat A relaxed house-party vibe at times Skull Manor being assembled live on stage The Mutations in front of the Pyramid at Dave Cave rhythm everyone together in the yard beachwear over at Jasona Beach Music (and a bit of theater) all day long an apt understatement for the weekend

Mass Ave Crit and FtnSqr Grand Prix

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It has been a great summer for cycling action here in Indianapolis.  We are seeing great returns on our infrastructure investments, and our citizens are starting to embrace bicycle culture more enthusiastically.  A good example of this was the Mass Ave Crit 2012 held last weekend.

Whipping around the Mass Ave triangle at full speed

 

The Mass Ave Crit is one of the most established races in the area, and it was a great turnout from spectators, fans, and cyclists.  The event was blessed with beautiful weather and a lot of support from the community.  I watched as many of the races as I could, and there was great action on every lap.

Mayor Ballard about to start another race

 

A pop-up biergarten from the generous sponsor

 

Celebrating the finish

 

So now that the MAC and IndyCrit are complete, we have one more event to look forward to.  It’s going to be a big weekend in Fountain Square, and the weather is looking good for the first Fountain Square Grand Prix!  And of course, this neighborhood is ready to usher in the bike race with a great lineup of music, food, and a big race.

FSGP is a great excuse to visit the neighborhood and the newly completed Cultural Trail (image credit: Curt Ailes)

 

Concert Schedule at the bottom of this Indy Star article “Psyched in Fountain Square“.  These are gonna be some great tunes.

Race map and race schedule on this flyer by Joe’s Cycles (and also an interview with Joe here).  If you had any doubts about whether Fountain Square has “made it” as a neighborhood yet, just look at the sponsors at the bottom of that flyer.  If you don’t recognize any of them, you need to be spending more time in this part of town because they all kick ass.  It’s a great opportunity to celebrate summer cyling and the urban vibes that drive this neighborhood.

(image credit: Curt Ailes)